Crash Twinsanity Review

Developer: Traveller’s Tales Publisher: Vivendi Universal
Release Date: September 28, 2004 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

Three years ago, shortly after the launch of the PS2, a month or so before the launch of GCN and Xbox, Vivendi Universal released their first Crash Bandicoot licensed game. The franchise was now under the umbrella of Traveller’s Tales, a British development house, which was behind the hit SNES/Genesis title Toy Story in 1995, the 1997 release of Sonic R, and more recently, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

So while the series needed a much deserved break, after three iterations on the PlayStation, along with a kart racer on the PlayStation, it’s hard to believe that we’ve gone 3 full years without Crash. That said, Twinsanity’s graphics look about 3 years old. The cut-scenes are professional, but the game itself suffers from fogging, and a decent amount of lag at times. However, the biggest problem that I had with Cortex, the 45-second load times, have been corrected, and are now about 5 seconds.

For the first time in the franchise, Twinsanity’s strong suit is quite possibly its awkward comedic moments. From the beginning, Crash’s facial expressions will leave you chuckling, and at times, such as when he was glaring at Cortex’s gluteus maximus, you’re left saying ‘what the hell?’. Games have turned to comedy in recent years, with games like Jak and Daxter coming to mind, but Twinsanity capitalizes on the satire more than most games.

The thing that best separates Twinsanity from its rivals in the genre, and from prior titles in the series, is the new dual gameplay mechanic. About half of the game you’ll play as Crash, following Cortex, and the other half, you’re connected to him. By this, I mean you play as a single being, but you’re actually both Crash and Cortex, connected by a power crystal.

Spinning into Cortex will combine abilities with him, allowing you to slam him into objects, throw him into walls (such as ice, which can’t be broken otherwise), etc. Cortex will play intricate roles in achieving your objective. He’ll shoot enemies for you, when not ‘connected’ to you, he’ll pull levers, and when there’s no use for him in an area that you throw him, he’ll return to your side, so you can tag-team again.

The open-endedness of Twinsanity is relative only to the prior games. When compared to the likes of the Sly Cooper, Ratchet and Clank, and Jak and Daxter franchises, Twinsanity is about as linear as you can get. However, unlike its predecessors, it’s not a pseudo-3D rail game. You’ll adventure into worlds, climbing platforms, annihilating enemies, even snowboard on the back of Cortex. This is a new Crash Bandicoot, and I’m glad to say, I hope this one replaces the old in future games, because this type of less structured gameplay works well for our fury apple-eating friend.

A sour note in the game is the enemy A.I., and the enormous difficulty chasm that gamers will have to leap over, if they plan on moving on. The A.I. doesn’t react to players, like VU claims it does, and instead charges with their spears, or whatever other weapon they have at their disposal. They’ll unfairly poke you, when you attack an enemy, and the camera isn’t at a pristine position for you to see them oncoming. Being that you can’t take more than two hits (unless you get an Aku Aku power-up), you’ll find yourself returning to checkpoints every couple of minutes. Once you’re out of lives though, you’ll have to start from the last save point, which is a hassle, since there are about three to five checkpoints per save point.

I wanted to love Twinsanity, I really did. The level design is stupendous, along with crate placement, and boss encounters. So while Twinsanity is a vast improvement on a series that I personally felt was in the graveyard, it doesn’t outdo other titles in the platform department, such as Sly 2, which unfortunately for VU, was released just weeks before Twinsanity. It’s a shame that Crash is going to be discriminated against this holiday season, for the shortcomings of his past. If you’re a Crash fan, Twinsanity is the best game in the franchise, so don’t pass it up. For everyone else, there’s a plethora of AAA platform titles this fall for the same price as Twinsanity. Wait a couple months for Twinsanity to go budget-priced, then leap on your chance to own a unique experience in the world of our favorite bandicoot.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7.9
Written by Kyle Review Guide

Leave a Comment